For all of our FDM projects, we print using the highest quality materials by Ninjatek, Colorfabb, eSUN and TierTime.
Plastics, printed through FDM printers, are ideal for designers and engineers to cost-effectively produce and test a design. Rapid low-cost prototyping allows for more design iterations resulting in greater control over the design process and improved end products. Furthermore, products can be brought to market faster. Prototyping plastics are best suited for fit or form checks but are also suitable for printing functional parts such as enclosures and custom piping.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) uses a string of solid material (filament), pushing it through a heated nozzle and melting it in the process. The printer continuously moves this nozzle around, laying down the melted material at a precise location, where it instantly cools down and solidifies. This placed string then builds up the model layer by layer.
PLA – a great option for low-cost, fast, non-functional prototyping (enclosures or electronic housings) and comes in a large range of colours. It is more brittle than ABS with a lower impact strength and elongation before break. It is unsuitable for high-temperature applications.
ABS – offers good mechanical and thermal properties, but details and sharp edges are typically less defined than PLA. ABS is ideal for prototypes that require snap fits or interlocking parts.
PETG – offers improved impact, chemical and heat resistance when compared with PLA/ABS. It’s an excellent water and moisture barrier (widely used for soft-drink bottles) and is the best option when wanting to print semi-transparent parts.
Polycarbonate – one of the strongest plastic 3D printing materials that is also impact and heat resistant. Can be bent and formed while cold without cracking or deforming.
Nylon – best suited for strong end-use parts. Offering good flexibility and better chemical resistance, compared to ABS. It is ideally suited for applications like durable enclosures and functional brackets.
TPU – an elastomeric thermoplastic, used for flexible parts. Parts printed with TPU are used to simulate rubber parts but lack the performance of true rubber. The flexibility offered by TPU makes it ideal for applications like grips, seals and gaskets.
Ninjaflex – NinjaFlex flexible filament leads the industry thanks to its superior flexibility and longevity compared to non-polyurethane materials. Its consistency in diameter and ovality (roundness) outpaces other polyurethane materials. The flexibility offered by TPU makes it ideal for applications like grips, seals and gaskets.
- Shore Hardness 85A
- 660% elongation allows for repeated movement and impact without wear or cracking
- Chemical resistant
- Abrasion resistance 20% better than ABS and 68% better than PLA
Suggested Applications: Seals, gaskets, plugs, levelling feet, protective applications.
Detailed Material Specifications
Images and material summaries soured from 3D Hubs.